AKC Dog Breeds:  Affenpinscher

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Toy Group
Height 8-12 inches  Weight 7-12 pounds Color variety (black and tan, black, gray, silver, red)

The Affenpinscher originated in Germany in the 1600's. It was used traditionally as a vermin hunting dog on farms and even in houses in cities and towns. The exact origins and breed development of the Affenpinscher is largely unknown, but there is no doubt that it is part of the foundation stock of many other breeds, such as the Schnauzer and the Brussels Griffon. The original Affenpinscher was probably a slightly larger dog, and may have measured as much as 12-14 inches at the withers. It is likely that the demand for miniature or smaller breeds for vermin hunting and companion dogs in cities and towns led to the smaller dogs being favored over the larger members of the breed. He was registered with the AKC in 1936.The Affenpinscher is affectionately known as the "moustached little devil" or "diablotin moustachu" in France. The actual name Affenpinscher comes from the German word "Affen" - which means monkey - and "Pinscher" which translates to terrier. Today the Affenpinscher is a relatively rare breed in most countries, but breeders are actively promoting this breed and it continues to have a loyal group of fanciers worldwide.

General Appearance
The Affenpinscher is a balanced, wiry-haired terrier-like toy dog whose intelligence and demeanor make it a good house pet.  The breed was developed to rid the kitchens, granaries, and stables of rodents. In France the breed is described as the "Diablotin Moustachu" or moustached little devil. Both describe the appearance and attitude of this delightful breed. The total overall appearance of the Affenpinscher is more important than any individual characteristic. He is described as having a neat but shaggy appearance. The weight of the Affenpinscher is around 7-12 pounds, and the height around 8-12 inches. He has a rough coat, which comes in a variety of colors including black and tan, black, gray, silver, and red. This is a sturdy little dog with an intelligent and alert expression. With proper grooming this breed does not shed very much, which is good news for those with allergies. The ears of the Affen are usually cropped, but can be left natural. Although sturdy in appearance, this breed is fine boned, so you should make sure that his spirited personality doesn't put him in dangers way, as he may try and jump around on and off furniture.

The Affenpinscher has a terrier-like personality. They tend to get along with other dogs and pets especially when they are raised with them. They are busy, bold, inquisitive and stubborn, but they also love to monkey around, being playful and mischievous. A lively sharp-witted, little dog that is courageous and confident. A fearless defender, the Affenpinscher will quickly become an authoritarian, if owners do not give the proper rules, boundaries, limitations and constantly be this dogs pack leader. It is very affectionate and amusing. This friendly little dog enjoys being with its family. It needs consistent, firm training. Make sure there is some variety in the training so the dog does not become bored. They learn commands very quickly. Some may be difficult to housebreak. They are not recommended for very young children, simply because most people who own the breed treat them like a small dog, lacking the proper pack leadership, causing negative behaviors to come out in the dog. Children should be taught how to properly handle a dog. Owners need to consistently be the dog's pack leader to avoid the tenancy to guard their food and toys. They like to hike and go camping as long as the temperature stays above 20 degrees F. Without leadership, it may unwisely challenge large dogs and other large animals. They tend to bark and even climb. This little dog does best with a family who likes entertainment and has a very good sense of humor. Any dog who displays growling, snapping or biting, has a lacking in pack leadership. These issues can be corrected as soon as the humans take control back from the dog.

You should brush the coat of this breed once or twice a week to keep in good condition and to minimize on shedding. For show dogs the coat may need to be stripped every few months, where the dead coat is stripped off. The coat may also require some clipping to keep in looking its best.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The lifespan of the Affenpinscher is around twelve to fourteen years, and this is generally quite a healthy and robust breed. However, there are health problems that can run in lines, and some of the more common ones include heart murmurs, Legg Perthes, luxating patella, and kidney problems.

Activity Level
The Affenpinscher is good for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard. These dogs are sensitive to temperature extremes. Overly warm living conditions are damaging to the coat. Although it is an energetic and active little dog, a lot of its exercise needs can be met with indoor play, like all dogs, the Affenpinscher should be taken for daily walks to fulfill it's canine instinct to walk. It will also enjoy a chance to run around outside in a wide open-space.


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